Gear GB close out

Derek Pulvino dbpulvino at
Mon Oct 28 21:23:32 EST 2002

In response to the following from themercedesbenz:

>Ok, I don't know if I'm the only one wondering about this and if I got
> >this straight but if you guys said this was "no profit" when we got
> >charged like $42 each for a gear how did you end up with $500 extra?

That was the original intention of the purchase.  What I had envisioned
including having a better handle on total cost of the project prior to
shipment, and then armed with this knowledge to include $1-$2 in US cash
along with all of the gears sent, with sum dependant on total quantity
ordered.  At the time that pricing was set, and collections begun, we still
had not encountered our 3-months of delays and multiple false starts.  Once
all of these delays came into play, unfortunately (for the possibility of
including a refund) getting the finished gear into the hands of the people
who had paid 3-months prior to our actually being able to provide the gear
(for the reasons detailed above, ie manufacturing and design delays) put
shipment upon completion as our #1 priority.  As such, we skipped the step
of making a projection on final costs before shipment.  At this point,
taking the extra day or two might have been worth the time.

We made estimates on pricing based on a per purchaser breakdown of shipping
material, guessed what the shipping weight and hence shipping cost of the
gear would be, and then added in the "oh shit/just in case charge" due to
the possibility of who knows what.

To date, all of this excess is in the same account to which it was
deposited.  I have not touched it as I've considered it to be a "business
acount," and believed any non-gear related debits would be akin to
"embezelment."  As such, the only debits made on the account include:

-Checks made out to the manufacturer to pay for the gear, and his shipping
charges to Bernie (this shipping charge is an example of one of the charges
not anticipated);
-Checks made out to Bernie to reimburse him for the cost of packing
materials and USPS charges;
-A check made out to Bernie to cover gas charges for his 3-4 trips to the
manufacturer (about 150 miles round trip) during the up-ramping of the
project to coordinate design, prototype, and manufacturing details.

Please remember that this project involved multiple setbacks including
sourcing an accurate prototype, figuring out what needed to be provided to
the manufacturer so that they could assure their quality, providing it,
insuring it was adequate, and the manufacutring of a new gear cutting tool
(which was delayed twice) by the manufacturer.

Additionally, (and hopefully without sounding poor me'ish) on my side I
believe I wound up spending about 60-70 hrs to get this together, which
included collecting money, drafting correspondences, and assembling data
tables and mailing labels.  As as aside, going with the "unanticipated
problems" theme, the original spreadsheet wound up becoming inaccessible
because of problems that arose with the disk, and as such had to be
recreated about halfway in.  Unfortunately, I had no backup as I was doing
this work at the local public libraries, so could not save backups to the
hardrive.  I know I volunteered this time at the outset, but it was again,
more time than anticipated.

>I don't think it was a mistake to pad the pricing, as there really >was no
>knowing what could have come up unexpectedly given our >experience prior to
>setting a price and collecting (ie delays, hob, >etc)...

>>From: "Derek Pulvino"
>>>Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 11:59:51 -0700
>>>To: b.m.benz at, alancordeiro at
>>>Subject: Re: Gear GB close out

I had come to the conclusion below as I saw how much fun writing out 90'ish
checks for 2'ish dollars would be after the fact...

>>>I agree with Bernie, that the time and additional cost to mail the >>>
>>>money back to everybody makes the refund idea somewhat prohibitive >>>
>>>from a cost effective standpoint. My idea is to send out an email >>> to
>>>everbody who was involved, detail where the money went, and give >>> them
>>>4 options; refund; donation to lists; split amongst us; or a >>>
>>>combination thereof.

And due to recent developements, will do just what the second half of the
paragraph states.  This email will be copied and sent to everybody who
purchased a gear (I believe I have all of the email addresses condensed and
readily accessible but if you see this via the lists and not via an email to
your inbox, do let me know) to assess which of the three options each
individual would like to see there $ go to.  The ($) remainder will be
handled according to each individuals desire based on the four options

So, to all involved in this purchase, please respond to the other copy of
this email that will be sent via geargp at

Since I have no idea of what kind of a shitstorm may be arising, I hope this
message can begin to curtail some of the concerns that may be volleyed; aka
nip it in the bud before armament flies.

>>>For me, while it did take a lot more time than I was expecting, and >>> I
>>>would like to be compensated for my time, I've still got to hold >>>
>>>myself to my original word. AKA "not for profit." Again, I guess more

>>>Derek P

So, in closing, I'll apologize for the misunderstanding, and begin work to
setting things to order.

Derek "I keep trying to get out, but they keep pulling me back in" P.

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